So long, skin trou­bles

Ahh, spring… it’s the great­est! Well, the great­est ex­cept for what’s not so great: bug bites, burns and break­outs. But don’t worry – we’ve got you cov­ered.

Glamour (South Africa) - - Contents - Words by CRISTINA MUELLER

The ex­perts tackle your big­gest skin is­sues


Pre­ven­tion is key, and you know the sun­screen drill: broad spec­trum of at least SPF30 – a R5-sized amount for your face, a shot-glass-full for your body, reap­plied ev­ery two hours. But there’s more. “Peo­ple who burn eas­ily can take a sup­ple­ment made from the poly­podium leu­co­to­mos fern,” says der­ma­tol­o­gist Dr Shirley Chi. Try [1] He­lio­care Ul­tra Cap­sules (R450). If taken in the morn­ing, stud­ies show that it can help boost your skin’s abil­ity to pro­tect it­self from the sun ( but that’s no ex­cuse to skip the sun­screen). “The minute you re­alise you’re de­vel­op­ing a sun­burn, get out of the sun to re­duce any fur­ther dam­age,” says dermo Dr Se­jal Shah. Aloe vera can be calm­ing in those first hours, too. We like [2] Aloe Unique 2-In-1 Light Ev­ery­day Body Lo­tion (R87).

How a pro can help

For a se­vere burn, topi­cal pre­scrip­tion oint­ments, such as Mupirocin, can form a pro­tec­tive bar­rier over the skin and prevent in­fec­tions in ar­eas where it’s open or raw, says der­ma­tol­o­gist Dr Joshua Ze­ich­ner.


What you can do If you’re get­ting acne on your back or chest, watch your post-work­out rou­tine. “Don’t run er­rands in sweaty work­out clothes,” says Dr Chi. “Shower as soon as you can.” When you do shower, use a sal­i­cylic acid wash like [3] Der­ma­log­ica Clear­ing Skin Wash (R589), and if break­outs are se­vere, try a 10% ben­zoyl per­ox­ide cleanser. An­other weapon is retinoid, says Dr Chi; af­ter you dry ož, ap­ply a thin layer to break­out-prone ar­eas and fol­low up with a light hy­dra­tor like [4] Ce­taphil Mois­tur­is­ing Lo­tion (R205), as retinoids, sal­i­cylic acid and ben­zoyl per­ox­ide can be dry­ing. How a pro can help

Pre­scrip­tion retinoids can tackle per­sis­tent break­outs; a se­ries of blue­light treat­ments will work to kill acne-caus­ing bac­te­ria.


What you can do “For fad­ing tan lines, sun­screen vig­i­lance is im­por­tant to prevent tanned ar­eas from get­ting darker,” says Dr Shah. Her favourites, like [5] La Roche-posay An­the­lios XL Ul­tra Light Fluid SPF50+ (R240), are light­weight and don’t leave a weird cast on darker skin tones. “But if you tan eas­ily, says Dr Shah, “you’ve got to cover up more with sun-pro­tec­tive cloth­ing.” If you’re try­ing to di­min­ish a few bruises from your beach week­end, go for a cream with vi­ta­min K or ar­nica. Self-tan­ner can tem­po­rar­ily mute the look of tan lines and bruises, says Dr Chi, or try a full-cov­er­age body con­cealer like [6] Cover­derm Per­fect Legs Fluid (R615). How a pro can help

There’s not much to be done – your best bet is cam­ou­flag­ing, has­ten­ing the fad­ing process and then wear­ing SPF.


For most itchy ir­ri­ta­tions, hy­dro­cor­ti­sone cream from the phar­macy – 0.5% for your face, 1% for your body, used up to three times daily – is your best friend. And the same in­gre­di­ents that help your skin re­cu­per­ate af­ter a sun­burn work here to bring down red­ness. Dr Shah likes cop­per-zinc-laced [7] Avène Ci­cal­fate Restora­tive Skin Cream (R199.95): “It’s a great heal­ing balm.” An oat­meal wash like [8] Aveeno Der­mexa Emol­lient Body Wash (R169.99) can also re­duce in­flam­ma­tion. Once the rash or bug bites are han­dled, darker skin tones may have lin­ger­ing hy­per­pig­men­ta­tion; you can treat that with a bright­en­ing vi­ta­min C serum or a spot-fad­ing cream with soy ex­tract. If you fall vic­tim to ra­zor burn, get a new ra­zor and use a gen­tle, fra­grance-free shav­ing cream.

How a pro can help

“If a rash doesn’t go away in a week, see a dermo to re­ceive an an­tibi­otic oint­ment,” ad­vises Dr Chi.

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